I Want My Mullet Back

I want my mullet back
My ol’ Camero, an’ my eight-track
Fuzzy dice hangin’ loose an’ proud
ZZ Top, they’re playin’ loud
A simple time, that’s what I miss
Your mini-skirt an’ your sweet kiss
Things are changin’ man, an’ that’s a fact
I want my mullet back. –Billy Ray Cyrus

I kept Bill company yesterday when he had to do one of life’s most onerous tasks – take his car in for emissions inspection. The task of getting one’s car inspected is second only to getting one’s drivers’ license renewed for sheer frustration and complete boredom. Plus, you get a headache from all of the emissions. The car needing to be inspected was his 2002 Ford Escape, the car we leave in AZ year round. Given its age and history, passing the emissions test isn’t a given.

Still, it passed. But I was more than amused when the man conducting the test came up to the window to collect Bill’s payment. The man, probably in his 30s, was sporting a full-out mullet, something I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

“1982 just called,” I wanted to say to him. “It wants its mullet back.”

I didn’t.

To reward ourselves both for passing emissions and not laughing at the man’s haircut, we ate lunch at one of my favorite hamburger joints  — Fuddrucker’s. Fudd’s third-pound hamburger is about my favorite of any burger made. Fuddrucker’s has no presence in Colorado, so I really love to eat there as often as I can without totally embarrassing myself while we’re in AZ. Quite appropriately for this post, Fuddrucker’s opened for business in 1979 in San Antonio as Freddie Fuddruckers.

As we waited for our food to arrive, I glanced over at the booth next to us. I kid you not, there was a young man with a full-out mullet.

“Sweet Lord above,” I thought to myself. “Please tell me that the mullet isn’t making a return. I don’t think I can survive that fashion trend again. It was bad enough the first time.”

I didn’t hate everything about the 80s. Court was born in 1980, and that was a very good thing. I liked the clothing fashions of that decade. Remember the jackets and sweaters with shoulder pads similar to what Von Miller wears today when he’s on the football field? And the faded bleached jeans that fit tight around your waist and had pleats. Man, I LOVED my 80s jeans. And what about sweatshirts with the torn collars ala Flashdance, and the legwarmers. Wow. I did love me some legwarmers.

And the music? Michael Jackson. Olivia Newton John. Hall and Oates. Lionel Ritchie. Good stuff, though I will admit to not listening to a lot of music in those days, as at least in the early part of the decade, I was changing diapers and ending my marriage. Busy, busy, busy.

But the hairstyles never have to come back into fashion as far as I’m concerned. Not the men’s styles. Not the women’s styles. Lord, the hairspray. And when you have hair as fine and straight as mine, well can you imagine how much hairspray it took to obtain this look…..


After spotting the second mullet in just a half hour yesterday, I asked Bill just when mullets were popular. “I don’t know for sure,” he said (having gotten the same haircut for the past 73 years save for a crewcut he wore in high school). “When was Billy Ray Cyrus popular?”

And so I found this photo (to the left), and couldn’t help but notice the similar style worn by my nephew Erik around that same time (or at least I hope it was at that same time)…..


I will keep you posted on mullet-sightings in the Valley of the Sun.

A Little Bit Country

I told you in a blog post six or seven months ago that I listen only to sports radio in my car. What I have subsequently learned is that I listen to sports radio in my car mostly during football season, and mostly when I’m in Denver. In fact, I haven’t yet quite figured out which radio stations are sports stations here in AZ. We have three or four in Denver, and given the fervor of sports fans in the Phoenix area, I would assume there are several here as well.

So what I find myself listening to in its stead is country music. If you would have told me, say, 30 years ago that I would ever be listening to country music, I would have been quite surprised. I’m not sure why, because beginning in my late 20s and early 30s, I listened to a lot of music from groups like the Eagles, Poco, and Pure Prairie League, all of which are just a hair away from country music.

As I got older, I found myself listening to groups like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I became more and more drawn to bluegrass artists such as Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. I even found I liked Johnny Cash. Yes, folks. I heard the train a’comin’. It was about then that I figured I needed a support group.

Hi, my name is Kris. (Hi Kris.) I like country music. (The first step is admitting you have a problem. And at least you can have a shot and a beer with your music.)

Now there’s almost no country music I won’t listen to.  I’m a country music ho.

Perhaps even more surprising, however, is that my sister Bec has also become a fan of country music, something I would never have thought would happen. I’m not certain, but I don’t even think it was a gradual thing for her. She simply moved to Arizona and turned on KMLE Country @107.9, and the rest is history. Thankfully, the only pickup truck in her family belongs to her son.

I like her explanation, however. She is nostalgic about the music we used to listen to when we were in high school and college. You know, love songs. Songs that told a story. Songs you could sing along with and not be embarrassed to say the words. Nowadays the music consists mostly of electronic sounds and heavy rhythm. And you can sing along, but you better not let your mom hear you.

Country singers still talk about love. Oh, it might be in the back of a pick-up truck while drinking a beer, but there’s usually a degree of romance involved. And some of the titles are clever enough to make me laugh out loud.

Take these for example…..

I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Like Having You Here (Billy Ray Cyrus)
I Still Miss You Baby But My Aim’s Getting Better (Lynn Anderson)
Money Can’t Buy Everything (But It Could Buy Me a Boat) (Chris Janson)

And my new personal favorite

You Look Like I Need a Drink (Justin Moore)

One more thought about music, however. I often say that while I can’t remember the name of my doctor, I can remember the words to every single song released in the 1960s and 70s. And they were all so innocent, I go on to say.

The other day Bill and I were having coffee at the Starbucks in our nearby grocery store and the Muzak was playing 60s music. A familiar song came on and I began singing it quietly under my breath. Suddenly, perhaps for the first time ever, I actually paid attention to the words. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now a grandmother, but I was disgruntled.

Here are a few of the lyrics from Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap:

Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, better run girl, you’re much too young, girl. So hurry home to your mama, I’m sure she wonders where you are, get out of here before I have the time to change my mind…..

The Union Gap present day. They're old guys, just like us!

The Union Gap present day. They’re old guys, just like us!

Sigh. Maybe we weren’t so innocent.